Monday, September 11, 2006

Iranian Standoff-A Rundown

Here is a petty good rundown of all of the events and the things at stake in the Iran going after a nuclear bomb and what led up to it. Like I have been saying for a while that Iran has a fairly formidible military. Although we will have air superiority in the first few hours the land war will be horrendous. Here are some highlights of the Iranian arsenal:

• Upgraded Shahab-3 missile, capable of reaching Israel and U.S. forces
in the region.

• The construction and set-up of sophisticated defenses around its
nuclear facilities.

• Possible possession (from Ukraine) of a dozen Soviet-era Kh-55
cruise missiles—designed to carry a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead 1,860 miles,
virtually undetectable by radar; a recent satellite deal with the Russians would
supply digital maps for improved accuracy.

• Possible stockpile of sophisticated military equipment such as
armor-piercing sniper rifles and night-vision goggles.

• In addition, Iranian hardliners have assembled a list of 15,000
suicide bomber volunteers.

“It is code to America: ‘If you hit us, we will play dirty, using
Hizbullah and volunteers to hit the U.S. across the region,’” said a European
diplomat, echoing analysts who have warned that Iran could easily destabilize
Iraq and close the Strait of Hormuz to oil traffic. “There is an enormous danger
of miscalculation” (Ibid).

Iran has the largest army in the region, with 540,000 active-duty
troops and 350,000 in reserves, plus more than 1,600 battle tanks and 1,500
other armored vehicles. A veteran Mid-east military analyst at the Center for
Strategic and International Studies in Washington wrote last December, “There is
considerable evidence that [Iran] is developing both a long-range missile force
and a range of weapons of mass destruction” (Ibid).

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